People Do Business With People
At TIMG, we believe that we have the people and products to solve today’s Information Management problems.
There is no academic text that covers every element necessary for good customer service. At TIMG, we believe that we have the people and products to solve today’s Information Management problems.
We caught up with Neelima Bhaskara and Deb Lopez, our Account Support Manager team for a quick chat about quality customer service and how they manage their part of the TIMG customer journey.
“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”Theodore Roosevelt
Q: Hi Deb and Neelima, thank you for agreeing to this chat.
DL: Thanks for the invite, we’re not used to being in the spotlight.
NB: Agreed, this does feel a little special.
Q: Well, looking at the feedback from clients who deal with you, it’s not hard to see that you two are very good at what you do. Well worth the attention.
Let’s get the ball rolling with a really easy one. We’ve all heard of the term Customer Service – what’s your definition of it?
DL: For me it’s all about human interaction. In this age of digital automation and bot messaging, finding a real person to talk to, makes all the difference to the client. With the backing of our internal teams, we can operate at an optimal level, and this seems to resonate with both potential and existing clients who contact us with enquires about our services or call up looking for support.
NB: Our goal is to ensure that the people we talk to walk away feeling like they have the full support of a company that has heard them throughout the sale and post-sale process.
Q: Good customer service is so important to client retention – is it something that can easily be taught or is it all about attitude and personality?
DL: You definitely have to have a passion for it and the confidence to have a proper conversation about a wide range of subject matter. Attitude, combined with the belief in the product that you represent, is vital. This is not something you can fake. Clients can hear a smile over the phone, and it makes all the difference when establishing meaningful communication!
NB: For me it’s a mix of both personality and training. You must have a certain resilience, but personality is a key factor in the whole piece. You can’t really find a course that covers every element required for good customer service. It’s more about learning on the job and gaining experience as you go. If you have a cool, balanced approach with a healthy dose of personality, you will have happy customers.
Q: What is it that you enjoy most about the ASM role? And be honest!
DL: I really enjoy hearing clients talk glowingly about our awesome national operations teams. It confirms that we deliver meaningful solutions and services. Sure, we’re not perfect and sometimes things don’t go to plan but being able to resolve an issue for a customer who believes in us, is very fulfilling. Makes it all worthwhile.
NB: I enjoy hearing to all the lovely feedback I receive from clients regarding our services and operations teams. Letting the clients know that we want to hear from them with feedback on our services, is not something that all companies do. It gives them some degree of ownership. Being the first point of contact both internally and externally is something that I really enjoy in the ASM role, you never know what’s going to pop up on the radar.
Q: The pandemic certainly presented all manner of challenges. How did it impact your jobs?
DL: The pandemic made it harder for us to reach our clients with so many people isolated in lockdown and working from home. More recently, the impact of the floods across Queensland and NSW have made for particularly challenging communications. We’re still feeling the effects of all these events as many companies have changed the way they use their phone systems. Right now, it feels like companies are contacting us with the need to outsource non-essential operations as they try to relieve the pressure on their physical infrastructure.
NB: With everyone working from home, it was quite a challenge to get hold of clients on the phone. They are now definitely wanting to reduce their physical office floor space, maintain easy access to data and streamline their legacy document archiving process. One of the biggest areas of activity for us, is in the digitisation space. We are helping more and more clients convert their paper files to electronic formats as they reassess the way they do business and use their data.
Q: In your opinion, what are the most important elements needed for good Customer Service?
DL: If I were to list them I would say, and in no particular order, No.1 – a genuine interest and belief in the product and services you represent, No.2 – the speed with which you deal with a client’s matter, No.3 – being honest at all times, No.4 – a good positive attitude and lastly, the constant need for clarity – the client should never be guessing the next move.
NB: Well said Deb, and thanks for mentioning all my points! Yes, but seriously, I would say No.1 – being a good listener is very important, No.2 – making the whole scenario clear for the client, even if I can’t directly answer every question, is very important, No.3 – always working towards the goal of resolution for the client is very important and finally, just being myself and demonstrating genuine gratitude is the way I like to operate. It kind of cements the ‘people do business with people’ thing.
Q: Our industry is super important to the success of most businesses wanting to embrace digital transformation. How easy is it managing inbound enquiries on the subject?
DL: As the first line of contact, our initial conversations are really all about listening to the client’s needs. Our digitisation team runs like a well-oiled machine and together with our operations capability we are easily able to hand a client over to the internal digitisation team to further the conversation and set up appropriate next steps. We never pretend to know it all, but we do know where to go for what we need, no question about it.
NB: As a business, TIMG has been working closely with clients for more than twenty years to improve how they manage their data and information. With the recent increase in activity around digitisation and cloud backups, I know that I have knowledgeable sales and technical people behind me. We understand the digitisation conversation and my job is to make sure the client gets the answers they need quickly and plainly.
Q: Thank you for your time, Deb and Neelima – really appreciate you sharing your insights on what is an often-overlooked aspect of any successful business.
DL: No problem at all. We represent a massive team of very experienced and talented people which makes our jobs that much easier.
NB: Thanks for the opportunity. Like Deb said, we’re part of a broader team that is bringing real value to the table. The ASM role gives us a good overview of the whole client journey. We love it.